Friday, March 8, 2019
kay's week - 3.8.19
As I am changing a few things around for a time on this blog, I'm going to return to some weekly updates on my reading and other life events. Not sure how long this will suit me, but it will be perfect right now.
Reading this week...
I finished reading The Eating Instinct by Virginia Sole-Smith and liked it very much. I didn't agree with all her musings, but I did find the whole book very thought-provoking. Especially about the issues between each of us and our body size and feelings about food. The author started the book by telling about Violet, her little girl, who stopped eating due to a medical problem when she was a tiny infant. She had a heart issue and did have surgery, but required a feeding tube for a long time and had to be retrained to eat anything. Very traumatic also for her parents and scary. She interviewed a bunch of people and talked with them about various eating behaviors, etc. As I noted, I was quite interested in what she shared about our current society's food 'rules' and placing guilt on almost all of us for how we eat.
I also read Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr, which was a reread for me. This is the first book in Carr's Grace Valley Trilogy and I'll probably read the other two books as well in upcoming days. It was written prior to the Virgin River books, but some of the characters have cameos in those as well. June Hudson is a small town doctor, like her father, and the trilogy is about their town of Grace Valley and June and her friends. Robyn Carr is on my comfort list of authors.
I listened to David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moon on audio for an upcoming book group discussion. I'm not going to talk about it right now, but will share more after the meeting in a couple of weeks. The only thing I'll say is that there were three narrators - two were lovely - one was beyond tiresome. Ha!
Our mystery book group met Wednesday evening and we discussed The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn (aka Dan Mallory). I wrote my thoughts on this book last year here. We talked about the book itself, which most everyone liked or even loved. I had enjoyed it a lot when I read it. A couple felt it was a little long and drawn out, but mostly positive responses. Then we talked about the author and the recent revelations about him and his personality in several articles, primarily one in The New Yorker in February. Wow. I won't share much other than to say that it kind of soured all of our feelings about his work. We did actually talk about whether we could, as readers, separate a 'not very nice' author from their writings - deplore the one and love the other. Most of us said 'yes'. There will be a movie in the fall based on The Woman In The Window. I'll have to consider whether I want to read more of his books when they are published. Maybe, maybe not.
On the home front, we've had a couple of family gatherings in the last two weeks. Those are always fun. We went out with everyone for Mexican food last Saturday and celebrated a family birthday. Our daughter made some delicious cupcakes to share with all of us - one of them pictured below. It's red velvet with cream cheese icing. Yum! I actually ate and enjoyed most of one and only left a little icing (my tummy doesn't like too much fat in food these days). It's nice to be able to enjoy some treats without feeling guilty (see why the food book was interesting to me?).
That's about it for this week. Our temperatures have finally warmed up a bit. As I'm writing this on Thursday afternoon, it's lovely outside and 73 degrees. It was 25 earlier this week. Yes, spring comes to Texas! Bluebonnets have been spotted and I'll maybe have a wildflower picture to share in the next week or two. Have a good weekend everyone!
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I sort of hate when book clubs pick something I read a year ago, because I don't remember it enough to discuss it! Even my reviews don't help me, so I have to re-read!ReplyDelete
I have to reread too! I can't complain about the chooser of the books for the group - it's me! Ha!Delete
I like the sound of The Eating Instinct and really want to read Killers of the Flower Moon.ReplyDelete
Sometimes I can overlook an author's bad behavior but not always. I haven't read a single John Grisham book since he said child pornographers are punished too harshly.
I don't think I'd heard that about Grisham. Yes, I agree.Delete
I had some issues with the audio version of Killers of the Flower Moon, too, and will be interested to hear about your book club discussion. Will add The Eating Instinct to my list. The cupcake looks amazing - glad you could enjoy it! Have a good weekend, Kay :)ReplyDelete
Thanks, JoAnn! The cupcake was just as tasty as it looks. I'm looking forward to the discussion. Several group members grew up in Oklahoma and my mother's people were all from there. I have some knowledge of the place and the time.Delete
What a lovely post, Kay. Fascinating reading how a real life issue with an author soured your feelings for the book. I can understand that. And the reverse can happen. After reading Agatha Christie's autobiography I loved her even more than I did before. It's a risk finding out what an author is like in real life. Same with TV and film personalities I suppose.ReplyDelete
Yes, I agree. I will say that almost all the authors I've met in real life have been lovely. Guess it takes all kinds.Delete
Kay, I love this post and the format. It's always fun to read your thoughts on books/reading, but even more so when paired with "real life" glimpses.ReplyDelete
The book on eating/food sounds fascinating. I've been reading about intuitive eating lately and this book seems like it might fit into that category?
I haven't read either of the fiction books you mentioned, but did read the article in the New Yorker about AJ Finn.
I have been pondering the same question as your book club: can I enjoy a book but not like the author? It seems as though it would taint the story. If the author isn't "real" or authentic in their life, how can they be while telling a story? On the other hand, I'm sure there are lots of authors who live lives nothing like mine and which I wouldn't be keen on but I've loved their books without "knowing" about their personal lives...a good question for sure!
J.P., the author of the food book does talk about intuitive eating and the woman or women who came up with that idea. As to authors and their lives - well, we had a good discussion for sure. Ha!Delete
So lovely to see your post this morning, Kay! I love this format and if I had time, I would do a weekly, rather than my long monthly, summary. I suppose it takes about the same amount of time, though. :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad your weather is improving. I'm sitting at my desk, watching the hail fall. It's only pea-size, thank goodness, but we sure have had a lot of it in the past couple of days. Lots of rain, too, but it is Oregon.
The Eating Instinct sounds very good, so I'll reserve a copy at the library. As far as loving a book, but not the author, I can probably do so unless the negative aspects of the author are unforgivable (child abuse, spousal abuse, etc.). A.J. Finn is certainly an odd duck, but I still enjoyed his thriller.
Yummy-looking cupcake! Your girl is very talented.
Have a great weekend.
I'm trying to think how often we saw hail in Oregon. Not much. Not very many thunderstorms either. And, yes, your rainy season isn't at an end yet, right? I liked A.J. Finn's book too, but I'm not liking him too much. Yes, our girl is quite talented in the baking realm. :-)Delete
Ha! I had to go and google AJ Finn - oh dear! What a very strange man!ReplyDelete
I'm reading Killers of the Flower Moon at the moment - not very far into it yet, but it's making me so angry... looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it.
Yes, that A.J. Finn is something else. I'll share my thoughts on Killers of the Flower Moon in a couple of weeks. I'm curious what others will think - I know everyone will be angry.Delete
My husband is on a healthy eating kick lately, which is good, but sometimes he can be too strict and I tell him he can have a treat once in awhile, it's ok! He would love those cupcakes!ReplyDelete
I will admit that I've mostly been very strict with my eating too, but I think that sometimes that backfires. I'm being a little less so these days. The cupcakes were good indeed.Delete
Ha, I hadn't read this post when I put mine up yesterday. I was just going on the continuing chat we've had about Robyn Carr. Your previous comments made me track down all 3 Grace Valley e-books, and I'm now collecting all the Virgin River paperbacks to read off and on in next couple of years.ReplyDelete
I read your thoughts on the eating properly book and I am so guilty of packing on the pounds due to stress this past year; the way my mother showed me how to deal with problems by eating too many desserts (sorry Mom, if you are looking down on me now). I'm one of those surgery failures-- I had a gastric sleeve operation a few years ago and have gained back many of the pounds, didn't lose too many after it anyway. My daughter lost and kept off about 70 lbs from gastric bypass (20/20 hindsight I should've had that done instead). btw: your daughter is a fabulous baker, having "followed" her highlighted treats through you.
Yes, Rita, I enjoyed hearing about your Robyn Carr adventures. THE EATING INSTINCT is not necessarily about eating properly - it's more about what eating 'properly' might be or just getting us to think about it. And also relating our current society's 'rules' about food. Which are constantly changing - all those musts. There is a chapter about people who have had the gastric surgeries and it was pretty interesting. Thanks for the praise about my daughter's baking skills. She gets it from her paternal grandmother - ha!Delete
Forgot to remark on Woman in the Window, I was so engrossed in the cupcake, lol! I didn't like this one much at all. I felt removed from the characters and finished it... but not a fan of it.ReplyDelete
I also read about the author, and I can separate most "bad deeds/personalities" from a book, but not Anne Perry for her past murder, nor Marion Zimmer Bradley for life-long child abuse. Ugh, I can't unsee the words of reading about them.
Yes, I had heard about Bradley and read about the feelings of her fans. I had not read her books, but I'm not inclined to do so now. Interestingly enough, I was already a fan of Anne Perry's books when I learned about her early years and the murder of her friend's mother that she participated in. I still love her books, but it's been a while since I read one. Maybe because her books are not all about teens murdering a mother. Finn's book, on the other hand, well, seemed a lot like he turns out to be. Not sure which character he would play and don't want to give spoilers. Ha!Delete
I'm jealous of your sunshine and bluebonnets. We got snow here in Utah yesterday and the temps will be in the 40s all week. This is me, wishing for spring! :)ReplyDelete
I can understand that, Lark. We had a really cold time earlier in the week, but we're hoping that's the last one. It was over 80 today. Back into the 50's next week.Delete
This was a very nice post, sharing recent reading and events. I wish it was getting warmer here. It is never really cold here but since we don't usually have cold, we don't handle it well. It is supposed to go up in temp some here next week, I think, but the up and down in temps is problematic too.ReplyDelete
Yes, I get what you are saying, Tracy. Some years, we have real spring in February, but not so much this year.Delete
Between you and Rita I'm wanting to do a binge read of Robyn Carr! The cupcake looks amazing and so pretty! Red Velvet with Cream Cheese frosting is one of my favorites and that's such a pretty one. I'm glad you were able to indulge and enjoy a bit.ReplyDelete
It was very good. Our daughter gets her baking genes from my husband's mother. I can understand wanting to binge read Robyn Carr. I did that one very stressful year and enjoyed it very much.Delete
I've not yet read The Woman in the Window but was originally planning on it. Now I'm a bit hesitant thanks to that scandal and the awful things that came out. I'm sure that eventually I will pick it up but for now it is not a priority. I love reading updates like this (even though I can't seem to find the time to do them on a regular basis myself). Have a great week!!!ReplyDelete
Oh, you should try The Woman In The Window. The story was pretty good and I did like the references to old suspense movies.Delete
I enjoyed reading The Woman in the Window, but thought it was a so-so read, though. Now I'm curious about the discussions about the author, LOL.ReplyDelete
That cupcake looks scrumptious. I know I won't stop at one, haha.
It was an interesting discussion about the author's behaviors. Thanks about the cupcake. They were very good.Delete
Isn't it wonderful to see the bluebonnets? Definitely spring is in the air. We almost had to turn on the A/C on Saturday! I just got The Woman in the Window and still haven't read the whole controversy about the author. I think I want to read the whole story first and then read that. I can't wait to see what my group thinks. Have a great week Kay!ReplyDelete
Yes, we were close to turning on the A/C too. Not quite yet though. I'll be curious to hear what you think about The Woman In The Window if you get to read it (and also what you think about the author). ;-)Delete
And today its 59, foggy and misty. Yes Texas weather. The more I think about The Woman in the Window, the more I see a lot of similarities to other books...too many. Onto another book.ReplyDelete
It was so foggy this morning. I went to the grocery store and felt like I was driving through pea soup! I agree about TWITW. He used a lot of popular themes, though a lot of other books pick up themes from older books or movies too.Delete
It's in the 50s here today! We've had cloudy skies and rain (someone even spotted a funnel cloud) for the last couple days. It's nice. I'm not ready for warm weather yet.ReplyDelete
I'm a Robyn Carr fan as well, although I don't read tons of romance. I like her small town settings and honorable characters. She's a comfort author for me as well.
Susan, I've been noticing that Arizona has had some wetter weather this year. I hear the desert is blooming! I used to read more romance in earlier years, but I agree about Robyn Carr. Her books do include romance, but they also include lots of life lessons.Delete
Food is such an important thing; we need more good books about food.ReplyDelete
I'm happy spring is coming to you. It's coming here, too. I hope to snap some photos of spring's appearance around me today or tomorrow if I get a chance. Spring is full of hope.
I like your last sentence, Deb. Spring is full of hope - indeed. :-)Delete
That book about eating would have been something I'd of picked up long ago. Way, way, back in the day, late 80s, I had an eating disorder that did me in. Even when I wanted to be better, my body would not comply and just "got rid" of food on its own. It took years for my body to stop doing that but the end result was a permanently messed up metabolism. I don't over analyze food much these days. It's for health and required for living and I leave it at that. It's fascinating though... food and how we look at it today.ReplyDelete
Yes, this book does address eating disorders, but not in the usual way. And she spends quite a bit of time talking about society's current feelings about all kinds of food. The judgment placed on people who eat this or that and especially guilt placed on parents. Plus she talks about the money angle - for big pharma and diet/health companies. I found it interesting.Delete
You have me curious about A.J. Finn. I hadn't heard anything about the author. I just know how much I liked the book. Okay, just got back from reading the New Yorker article. Wow. At work we've been talking a lot about separating the art from the artist, and whether we can, mostly in relation to music and movies though. I know I've thought of it when it comes to books as well. It is an interesting dilemma, isn't it? The cupcake looks yummy. I admit though, I am so tired of cupcakes. Cupcakes for school. Cupcakes for dance. Cupcakes for a birthday party. Leftover cupcakes. They are everywhere! HahaReplyDelete
I hope you have a great weekend, Kay!
Laughing that you are tired of cupcakes. Yes, I can see that and why. That article about Finn was quite something, wasn't it? We'll see what his next book might be like.Delete
I haven't read the book, but I've read about the controversy. It does affect my feelings about wanting to read the book.ReplyDelete